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The Rains Came (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 15 September 1939 (USA)
Living in India with her crude husband, a British aristocrat is reunited with an old flame at a party, though she truly has her sights set on a handsome doctor.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Philip Dunne (screen play), Julien Josephson (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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On TV

Airs Thu. Feb. 21, 1:30 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Myrna Loy ... Lady Edwina Esketh
Tyrone Power ... Major Rama Safti
George Brent ... Tom Ransome
Brenda Joyce ... Fern Simon
Nigel Bruce ... Lord Albert Esketh
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Maharani
Joseph Schildkraut ... Mr. Bannerjee
Mary Nash ... Miss Mac Daid
Jane Darwell ... Aunt Phoebe - Mrs. Smiley
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mrs. Simon
Henry Travers ... Rev. Homer Smiley
H.B. Warner ... Maharajah
Laura Hope Crews ... Lily Hoggett-Egburry
William Royle ... Raschid Ali Khan
C. Montague Shaw ... General Keith (as Montague Shaw)
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Storyline

The adventurous Lady Edwina Esketh travels to the princely state of Ranchipur in India with her husband, Lord Albert Esketh, who is there to purchase some of the Maharajah's horses. She's surprised to meet an old friend, Tom Ransome who came to Ranchipur seven years before to paint the Maharajah's portrait and just stayed on. Ransome has developed something of a reputation - for womanizing and drinking too much - but that's OK with Edwina who is bored and looking for fun. She soon meets the local doctor, the hard working and serious Major Rama Safti. He doesn't immediately respond to her advances but when the seasonal rains come, disaster strikes when a dam fails, flooding much of the countryside. Disease soon sets in and everyone, including Ransome and Edwina, work at a non-stop pace to save as many as possible. Safti deeply admires Edwina's sacrifice but fate intervenes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nacht über Indien See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Arthur C. Miller--the cinematographer who replaced Bert Glennon--the real reason that Glennon left the production was not for the stated reason of illness but because director Clarence Brown (I) was not happy with his work, believing it was "not brilliant enough". According to Miller, Brown "wanted the whole thing to shine. And Glennon made it shadowy and soft"). Glennon walked off the production and Miller stepped in. Miller also repeats this version of events in his own autobiography, "One Reel a Week". See more »

Goofs

In the hospital scene toward the end, Fern is in Lady Esketh's room when Tom arrives. He enters and stands next to Fern, clearly empty-handed. Lady Esketh asks Fern to leave and then we see a close-up of her in her bed as she talks to Tom. When the film cuts to a shot of Tom he's standing with a large envelope or file folder in his hand, tapping on it with a finger. He then leaves the room with the folder in his hands. See more »

Quotes

Thomas 'Tom' Ransome: [Describing Ranchipur to Lady Edwina Esketh] See, in Ranchipur, the important things in life are the elemental things, such as crops, starvation, and weather. In Europe, when someone says "It looks like rain," in all probability, he's trying to make polite conversation. But here, where people die as easily as they're born, they're speaking in terms of life and death. You'll see what I mean, if you're still here when the rains come. You'll see them overnight turn the fields, the gardens and the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Each set of credits (except for the 20th Century-Fox logo) disintegrates after it appears, as if it were washed away by the rain falling in the background. See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Hindoo Song of Love
(1939) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Lal Chand Mehra
Played on a sitar and piccolo by unidentified musicians and sung by Lal Chand Mehra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The rains came and came again
8 May 2018 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

One weekend (it was raining), I watched 1939's "The Rains Came" and then the remake, 1955's "The Rains of Ranchipur".

"The Rains Came" is a story of redemption. Tom Ransome (George Brent) is slowly dissipating in the pre-independence Indian kingdom of Ranchipur when his decline is interrupted by the arrival of a former lover, Edwina (Myrna Loy). Now married to the elderly Lord Esketh (Nigel Bruce) Edwina is restless and bored.

She sets out to seduce Tom's friend, Indian doctor, Rama Safti (Tyrone Power), however she ends up falling in love with him. This disturbs the Maharani of Ranchipur who sees Safti as a future ruler of the kingdom, Then the rains come destroying much of Ranchipur and bringing out hidden depths of character in Tom and Edwina.

The 1939 version is a moody, artistic looking film. Myrna Loy is photographed with luminous close-ups and lighting accentuating cheekbones and lips. There is none of that for Lana Turner as Edwina in the newer version. Instead the Cinemascope process delivered static, overlit scenes that distanced us from the actors.

George Brent was always low-key, but it's what the role needed. Fred MacMurray played the same part in the later movie and his delivery suffered in comparison.

Richard Burton wears Safti's turban in "The Rains of Ranchipur". However it's not a good fit; he projects somewhat of a neurotic edge; it's hard to believe the passion he arouses in Edwina. On the other hand, Tyrone Power's calm demeanour and serenity in "The Rains Came" only enhanced his charisma.

Burton was not entirely to blame; he is required to spout volumes of sanctimonious drivel in his scenes with Turner. Things had changed in India and the script needed updating, however where a look said a lot in the "The Rains Came", the characters in "Ranchipur" say it.

The only character enhanced in "Rains" Mk II is Michael Rennie's Lord Esketh. It's a more intelligent characterisation than Nigel Bruce's blustering stereotype. The remake features location footage but it's not enough to elevate it above bland interiors and unbelievable characters.

Finally I was surprised at how good the first version is, but also surprised at how much the second one missed the mark.


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